It looks like a teenager and his mom tried to warn Apple about the FaceTime bug. According to the Wall Street Journal, a 14-year-old in Arizona discovered the same security bug last week while he was using FaceTime to set up a “Fortnite” gaming session with friends.
The Journal said that the teenager’s mother Michelle Thompson, reported the bug to Apple, and even contacted the company to fix the issue. Grant Thompson, the teenager, and his mother, Michelle Thompson, discovered the bug on January 20 and started posting it on Facebook and Twitter.
“My teen found a major security flaw in Apple’s new iOS. He can listen in to your iPhone/iPad without your approval. I have video. Submitted bug report to @AppleSupport…waiting to hear back to provide details. Scary stuff! #apple #bugreport @foxnews,” said Michelle Thompson on Twitter.
Apple temporary disabled the group calling feature in its FaceTime late on Monday evening, after reports of a bug that lets callers activate another user’s microphone remotely. A report in 9to5Mac first revealed the existence of a security bug in Apple’s FaceTime service. In an official statement, an Apple spokesperson said, “We’re aware of the issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week.”
My teen found a major security flaw in Apple’s new iOS. He can listen in to your iPhone/iPad without your approval. I have video. Submitted bug report to @AppleSupport…waiting to hear back to provide details. Scary stuff! #apple #bugreport @foxnews
— MGT7 (@MGT7500) January 21, 2019
I have letters, emails, tweets and msgs. sent to Apple for 10+ days reporting the Group FaceTime bug that lets someone listen in. My teenager discovered it! Never heard back from them. #apple #facetimebug @FoxNews @cnbc @CNN
— MGT7 (@MGT7500) January 29, 2019
Apple often brags about protecting users’ privacy, but this incident has deeply embarrassed the company. Just hours before the news of a bug discovered in FaceTime went viral, Apple CEO Tim Cook had tweeted that the “dangers are real and the consequences are too important.”
We must keep fighting for the kind of world we want to live in. On this #DataPrivacyDay let us all insist on action and reform for vital privacy protections. The dangers are real and the consequences are too important.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) January 28, 2019
Apple has always tried to differentiate itself from the competition over its emphasis on privacy and protecting users’ data. Earlier this month, Apple put up a giant billboard in Las Vegas touting its privacy prowess. The text of the ad – “What happens on your iPhone – stays on your iPhone” – was an attempt to troll Google and Facebook over their way of handling user privacy.